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Pakistan’s WBL Index goes up by 25 points

As per WBL Report 2021, Pakistan has remarkably improved its score on entrepreneurship indicator of Women, Business and Law (WBL) index, from 50 to 75 points.

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The rise is mainly attributed to reforms introduced by the SECP, enabling women to register a company effectively and promptly, stated a press release. WBL Report is World Bank’s publication that evaluates laws and regulations of 190 countries, in order to identify requirements that restrict women’s economic opportunities.

WBL report covers eight broad areas; mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension.

In 2021 WBL report, Pakistan has improved its score on two indicators; entrepreneurship and workplace, resulting in upgrading the overall score to 55.6, from 49.4 in 2020.

Pakistan has been included in 5 economies that have introduced reforms to improve entrepreneurship opportunities for women.

It is encouraging to note that from March 2020 to March 2021, SECP registered a total 21,168 companies, out of which 5,145 companies have at least one women director, which accounts for 24.3 percent of total incorporation during the period.

Read More: Arshia Ahmad Saqib Head of HR Engro Fertilizers: Celebrating Pakistani Women

SECP, cognizant of the vital role played by women in economic growth, has introduced number of steps to improve gender mainstreaming within the organization. The recent measures include increase in the maternity leave from 90 to 180 days, ensured 48% representation of females in new hiring and 23% representation in recent promotions.

At SECP, there is 29% female representation at senior levels and 23% women are working at management cadre. At the occasion of women’s day celebrations, SECP’s Commissioner Sadia Khan encouraged women to actively volunteer for various activities and said that events on diversity should be a regular feature during the year, where women can discuss all the progress made in the past and deliberate on the way forward.

75% of Islamic countries scored below the world average on The World Bank’s latest Women, Business and the Law Index (WBL), which indicates that there is a long way to go before women get equal opportunities across Muslim-Majority nations.

The 2021 report which covered the September 2019 to October 2020 period, stated that on average, women around the world still have only three-fourths the legal rights of men.

“This matter because better performance in the areas measured by the Women, Business and the Law index is associated with a narrower gender gap in development outcomes, more female policy makers, higher female labour force participation, and lower vulnerable employment,” said The World Bank on Feb 23.

10 countries including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden scored 100 reflecting equal opportunities for both men and women.